Sump Pump Monitor Pt. 1 – Hardware

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So as a new homeowner one of my biggest concerns with our new house was the fact that the sump pump was constantly running. As far as I’m told this is a normal occurrence in the part of the city I live in due to the water table and the type of soil we have. Now, while I’m still not convinced that it should be running all the time, I decided that I needed something to not only alert me when a failure occurs, but also how often the sump pump is running. So I decided to put together a little device that would do just that.

I needed this to accomplish the following
– Measure the frequency of how often the sump pump was running
– Alert me via text/phone if the secondary backup was in use
– Alert me if the water was overpowering the secondary and filling up the basement

I decided that a 3 stage sensor system would be the best fit so that I could monitor the water at every stage. The water sensor I went with was this one.

It fit all the categories. It’s essentially an analog sensor that outputs a voltage based on how much was is connecting the contacts on the board. Using the voltage that it’s returning I can create a chart of when the water fills up and then when it subsides. Also I can use the same sensors to detect it at the other stages as well.

For the board I decided to go with the LinkNode D1. It has all the inputs I need (or so I thought, more on that later) and a built it ESP8266…. and all for under 10 bucks!! Sold!

Now I wired everything up and attached it to a piece of PVC pipe that I would submerge in the crock. Now since the water sensors themselves weren’t water proof.. I know… I had to attach them to the pipe and seal up the components with silicon. I used a generic silicon caulk from my local home improvement store and bingo, a submersible waterproof analog water level sensor array.

The next step was the code itself for the Arduino and where to send the sensor data…. More on that in the next post.

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